Jeremy is my first feature with “All Things Minnesota Agriculture” 30 days of November blogging challenge. Jeremy is a Watershed Education Specialist at Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center Prior to his current job he worked for Minnesota Pork, which is how I came to know Jeremy. Jeremy lives in New Prague and anyone who knows Jeremy understands his passion for sheep. Suffolks to be exact. On a personal note, sheep are one of my favorite animals–I love their demeanor and love feeling their wool as I pet them.
Social Media sites:
Jeremy utilizes his personal Facebook account (Jeremy Geske) to promote and market his sheep business and to direct people to his farm’s website jmgsuffolks.webs.com
Tell me a little about your farm and/or business?
“I raise registered Suffolk Sheep. We show & sell breeding stock at local, state and national shows and sales. The goal is to produce high quality seed stock that can be competitive in the show ring while maintaining the production traits demanded by our terminal sire customers. Any lambs that don’t meet our quality standards are direct marketed as locker lambs to local consumers.”
How long have you farmed or been in business?
“I’m a 4th generation livestock producer. I started my flock when I was 9 (35 years ago) with 3 ewes from my dad’s flock. Today we run about 40 ewes, and their bloodlines can all be traced back to my dad’s flock.”
Tell me a little about what you grow/raise/produce/or service provided.
“We raise large framed, fast growing, structurally sound, genetically superior sheep. Our rams will sire faster growing lambs for our customers. Our sheep are also competitive on the purebred show circuit.”
Where do you sell or provide services to? Who is your end consumer?
“The best of our rams and ewes are marketed to other Suffolk breeders. We utilize state and national shows and sales, on-line sales and off-the-farm sales to market these sheep.
We also sell our rams with the best genetics for growth to commercial sheep producers as terminal sires. Many of these rams are sold to sheep farms in the western range/mountain states. We do market a few of them here in MN as well.
Lambs that fail to meet our quality standards as potential breeding stock are direct marketed as locker lambs to local consumers.”
What makes your farm/business unique or special? What are you proud of?
“I’m most proud of the success that our customers have had with sheep purchased from us, including a ewe we sold that went on to be Champion at a national show. Multiple customers have relayed compliments they have received on lambs sired by rams purchased from us. I’m also proud to continue to serve as a leader in the sheep industry – I am the Secretary (and past President) of the MN Lamb & Wool Producers Association, President of the MN Suffolk Sheep Association, and a member of the American Sheep Industry’s Legislative Action Council.”
Why do you grow/raise/produce? What went into your decision to do what you do?
“I’ve been around livestock since before I could walk. My father and grandfather taught me to provide good care for our animals and be a good steward of the land. I can’t imagine not being in the sheep business, it’s in my blood. Even on hot days when I’m stacking several hundred bales of hay, or in January when I have to shovel a path to the barn through the snow at 4:30 am to check for newborn lambs, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
What is one interesting fact about your farm/crops/livestock/your business you would like to share.
“The previous owners of our farm had a business called “The Country Boutique” where they made and sold home decorations. I believe I have the only sheep barn in the country that used to be a boutique.”
What do you love most about farming/business?
“The opportunity for my kids to be involved in the sheep business with me. They have chores and responsibilities for caring for the animals, they learn about the cycle of life, they know where our food comes from, and we’ve already made great memories traveling to national junior sheep shows.”
If you were the “Ag King” for a day, you would:
I would make it so that every consumer who has ever had a question about meat safety or animal care would have the opportunity to spend a day on a livestock farm to see first-hand the care we provide and the precautions we take to ensure we are producing a safe, wholesome product for their family as well as our own.
Read other blogger posts who are participating in the 30 Days of Ag November project.
Enjoy Jeremy’s additional pictures: